Locker Group’s products can be used to improve a building’s aesthetic appeal, but we also play an important role in improving the experience of a building’s inhabitants. Nowhere is this more clear, or more important, than in medical facilities. Here’s how our architectural products can be used to contribute to patient wellbeing, and an example of a recent success story.
Safety issues within hospitals
While patients are in hospital to get better, the sad reality of the situation is that their unwell state means they are at an increased risk of harm. Opportunistic secondary infections prey on people with compromised immune systems, and The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that approximately one in 25 patients in hospital will have a healthcare-associated infection.
The ACSQHC says that one of the largest causes of harm to patients in care is falls.
A significant physical harm that can come to hospital patients or others receiving medical treatment is that of injuries caused by slips and falls. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) says that one of the largest causes of harm to patients in care is falls. This is due to the increased frailty and mobility issues that often come with periods of illness, combined with an unfamiliar setting. There are various ways to address the issue, involving organisational and physical solutions.
Handrails give patients who are unsteady on their feet an added degree of stability as they walk between hospital departments or to and from the building. Locker Group handrails are low maintenance and easy to install, and can provide hospitals or other medical facilities with improved safety, particularly for entrances and stairwells.
Shade provides comfort
Minimising the risk of injury, although critical, is not the only way that Locker Group can help to improve patients’ experiences. Comfort is an important part of recuperation, and in a country as intensely awash in sunlight as Australia, adequate shade and control of natural light is an important part of ensuring relief for a building’s occupants. A 2014 presentation by Polish architects from the Silesian University of Technology says selecting the appropriate sun protection for hospital windows has an impact on patients’ psychological wellbeing and the comfort of their hospital stay.
Our Atmosphere facade system can be used to give hospital windows a shade that takes out the overbearing light and heat of daytime sun, without unnecessarily limiting natural light. It is suitable for a range of buildings that can include hospitals and other medical facilities.
An outdoor use of Atmosphere for a Sydney hospital
A recent healthcare construction project that has taken advantage of Locker Group’s metal facades is Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, which used Atmosphere panels to screen the carpark of the facility. It had the additional benefit of not only providing shade but also acting as a pedestrian barrier for safety and security.
Locker Group was involved in the planning and design process from early on, working with the design team to provide a solution that achieved its aims with minimum cost and installation time. While the scale of the project meant that there were inevitable challenges to deal with, strong planning and attention to detail meant installation was completed in just 10 days, with an end result that was satisfying both to Locker Group and the hospital’s builders. Read more about the project here.
Patient wellbeing is a broad issue with many factors that need to be considered and addressed. Locker Group is proud that we are able to contribute to the quality of care that Australian medical facilities provide. To find out more about our products or how we could help you with your next construction project, please get in touch today.